Senior Curtis Urlacher was a key figure in the Mt. Boucherie Bears’ first ever unbeaten regular season in B.C. high school football.
Now the 18-year-old linebacker from Peachland is ready to take his skills and passion for the game to a new level.
Urlacher will head east to Montreal later this year to play football and earn an education at Concordia University.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound linebacker chose Concordia over other scholarship offers from St. Francis Xavier, Carlton and Queens.
“I’ve heard great things about (Concordia), they have a good history of academics there, a good football program and I really like the school,” said Urlacher. “It’s a nice city, too, so that helps a lot.”
Urlacher, who will be enrolled in the biology program at CU, also received positive reviews about the school from Paul Spencer, a Boucherie grad and Peachland product. Spencer played three seasons with the Stingers and is now a member of the Concordia coaching staff.
For Urlacher, who began playing the game at nine, the 2012 football season was by far his best and most memorable to date.
In addition to helping lead the Bears to a 6-0 regular season record, Urlacher was named the Okanagan defensive MVP and was a provincial all-star. He was also the defensive MVP for Team East in the B.C. Senior Bowl, and played with Team B.C. against Team USA at the FBU International Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Mt. Boucherie head coach Mike Godwin says players with the combination of Urlacher’s work ethic, passion and athleticism are few and far between.
“Curtis came in as a young guy and really bought into our program. He didn’t skip workouts or miss practice, and competed in every drill. He did all the right things, and this really separated him from a lot of his peers,” said Godwin. “You can’t really tell how a Grade 9 or 10 football player will turn out, but when a kid comes along who is determined to be better than everyone else, and is willing to sacrifice to get there, that hard work always pays off and Curtis is a testament to that.”
From his very first his days on the gridiron, Urlacher has heard the inevitable references to National Football League great Brian Urlacher, a linebacker with the Chicago Bears.
And while Curtis has long been a big fan and admirer of the future Hall of Fame player, it isn’t the main reason he chose to play the same position.
“It started when I first played tackle football, the coaches would place me at linebacker and that I should wear his number (54),” said Urlacher, who wore No. 40 his last season in high school. “It started out that way, but now I play there mostly because I just love the position. I’ve played just about everywhere on the field, linebacker is where I feel most comfortable and the one I enjoy. Every coach says they can tell I love playing there.”
Like all players graduating from high school, Urlacher knows the transition to the CIS game won’t be an easy one.
But it’s a step Urlacher is excited about taking.
“I’m looking forward to getting back playing again and looking forward to the challenge of making the jump to the CIS,” he said. “I’ve done what I can do in high school, now it’s time to try the next level. It’ll be nice to be a young kid again, like I was my first year in high school and starting at the beginning.
“(Boucherie coach) Mike Godwin prepares us well for taking that next step,” Urlacher added. “It’ll be hard, but I’m excited.”
In the big picture, Urlacher hopes to play at least four seasons at Concorida then, if all goes as planned, have his named called in the CFL draft.
“It’s a dream of mine, to play pro,” he said.
Urlacher expects to head to Montreal to begin his university experience in early August.